An article published in Mobile Marketing back in November 2012, showcasing research from the IAB UK looking at mobile consumption across the US, UK and S. Korea, claimed that 69 per cent of UK consumers expect their mobile usage to increase dramatically by 2015, with the UK actually leading the way in tablet usage out of the countries surveyed - 62 per cent of UK consumers apparently use their smartphone more to go online than to call or text. The research, concluded, the IAB’s senior mobile manager, Alex Kozloff, proved “that advertisers and publishers must make mobile and tablets an integral part of their strategy”.
Seemingly backing this report, a pre-Christmas 2012 study produced by Deloitte predicted that a staggering £3.5bn of retail sales were to be purchased or influenced by smartphones over the Christmas period.
Whilst this may seem extreme, this is not a matter to be taken lightly. Most big brands seem to have cottoned on to the concept that their marketing strategies are most effective when actively engaging with their consumers, so convenience would naturally be the next point on the brand-consumer checklist.
In light of this, last December, eBay launched a fully immersive pop-up shop in London’s Covent Garden that opened for three days in the run up to the infamous ‘Cyber Monday’ (3 December). Combining smartphone technology with Augmented Reality, consumers were able to search for and buy some of the most popular gifts through a customised eBay app for iPhone & iPad.
The campaign was a clear demonstration of how well the use of experiential activity ties in with mobile technology. The strategy seemed to make a large impact, it was reported that ‘Cyber Monday’ witnessed 112m visits to retail sites, noting eBay as one of the sites with the largest amount of traffic throughout the day.
It’s not just online retailers that are aiming to bring the retail shopping experience to life. High street giant Boots launched a ‘Christmas mobile app’ back in December that allowed consumers to record personalised messages via their smartphone, using specialised gift tags with built in QR codes. Recipients of the gifts could then scan their smartphone over the tag to view their special message. In addition, the app could also be used to compile gift lists and act as a memory prompt when in store. For those that still forgot, consumers could automatically be directed to the Boots website.
Whilst most digital strategies are developed around the idea that consumers enjoy the convenience of shopping at the touch of a button, QR codes and the rise of Augmented Reality are now allowing brands to create the ultimate shopping experience on the go and boost their presence (not to mention their sales) in a whole host of different environments. For experiential, mobile technology is now a vital tool when planning and executing brand experiences that really connect with consumers and can also be used as an effective tool to measure sales and ROI for campaigns.
Madison Byrne is marketing director at iD Experiential